Since my homemade ricotta recipe post, I’ve been wanting to make ricotta with lemon juice, instead of using buttermilk. And now I did! Let me tell you, it worked out pretty well. It takes the same amount of time, and it’s actually the same procedure. All I did was replace the buttermilk with the juice of half lemon. The important thing for both recipes is using milk with the highest fat amount. Otherwise it will affect not only the taste but also the amount of cheese that will come out of it. At least that’s what I noticed.
The ricotta on the following picture was made literally five minutes before I took the picture. It was still lukewarm. That is why it is still so juicy. If you have more time available, you might want to let it drain in the appropriate cheese basket or cheesecloth for at least one hour before cooking with it.
About half an hour later I was done with part one. Then all I had to do is add the spinach and other ingredients to it. And there you go, the mix is ready to be turned into these little dumplings. After boiling them for a few minutes only – until they begin to float to surface – they are actually ready to be served with some sauce. As I like it crunchy, I couldn’t help but sauté them in a pan with a little butter. I kept flipping them until they got a nice brown color.
The tomato sauce that I made didn’t require lots of cooking either. I wanted the tomatoes to be only halfway cooked for this dish. You can also make more and store them for later. But be ready to roll them into additional flour, as they tend to get sticky really fast.
Look at these colors! I mean, don’t they look inviting? ;)
- 200 g / 7 oz (homemade) ricotta cheese
- 200 g / 7 oz spinach (fresh or frozen), chopped
- 6 tbsp flour
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
- olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt, pepper
- 250 g / 9 oz fresh cherry tomatoes
- fresh thyme sprigs
- olive oil
- salt and red ground pepper
- Heat (not too hot!) the olive oil in a pan.
- Add the garlic and roast for a 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped spinach and simmer for a few minutes. (If you use frozen spinach, let it thaw well, and squeeze the water out before cooking.)
- Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until done.
- Mix the spinach and ricotta cheese in a bowl.
- Add 3 tbsp of flour, egg and parmesan cheese. Mix well.
- Form little dumplings and place them on a tray or kitchen towel previously sprinkled with the remaining flour. Put aside.
- Prepare the tomato sauce by heating the olive oil. Add the tomatoes (either chopped, as a whole, or both). Cook for about 5-10 minutes.
- In the meantime heat the butter and thyme sprigs in a separate large pan.
- Bring a pot with water to a boil. Pour in the gnocchi. Cook for a few minutes. (They are cooked when they start floating on the surface.)
- Place the gnocchi inside of the pan with the butter and thyme. Sauté until they get a golden color.
- Then pour the gnocchi into the pan with the tomato sauce and stir carefully.